Scroll of Taiwu is a Chinese Wuxia RPG rogue-like game with aspects of management and business. You are the “chosen one” destined to defeat Xiangshu (a boss that corrupts people) and you do so by learning from various sects and kung fu schools. If you die, you can re-incarnate into your children, friends, or even random strangers to continue developing your skills. Successful players learn to manage their time wisely and develop a strong economy early on alongside their fighting skills.
Unfortunately, the game currently does not have an English translation and I definitely struggled early on with my limited Chinese reading abilities. For anyone in the same spot, this guide will go over some of the major concepts as well as important tips to get the strongest start. Please leave any comments if you have any feedback!
Tip #1: Start with Benevolence
When you encounter NPCs, your conversation with them will be different depending on their character personality. For example, if they have a “Traitorous” (purple) style personality, speaking to them as a “Benevolent” (light blue) character will decrease your relations. This comes into play even more when you are given a list of decisions attached to different situations and you can choose to respond out of character at the cost of personal happiness, or you can choose your response accordingly and receive the consequences.
For example, at the start of every turn other characters tend to ask you for different items, materials, or even for you to teach them martial arts. If you are “Benevolent”, then you have the chance to decline giving them anything and maintaining your relationship with them at no loss to your personal happiness. If you chose to be a “Selfish” (red) character, then you choosing the “Benevolent” option would mean you lose happiness that can lead you to becoming depressed and receiving negative stat modifiers. For this reason, start off as a “Benevolent” character to avoid having to give away your precious materials or losing happiness!
Tip #2: Check the Martial Arts Requirements at the Start
At the start of the game you get to choose which location you start at – including the attached School of martial arts. Selecting the button beside the name of the school shows you exactly what martial arts you are able to learn, and if you hold the Alt button while hovering over it, it will show you at the bottom what the specific requirements are to effectively use this skill. For the school you are interested in, take a look at all of the martial arts and plan your character accordingly so that you are able to fight effectively right from the start.
For starters, I would recommend the “Tie Jian Shan Zhuang” in the very lower right corner since it has solid damaging sword skills right from the beginning. The effectiveness of your abilities are mostly just dependent on your characters stats, as compared to other skills that rely on “life skills” like sewing, Wei Qi, caligraphy, etc. Having a high damaging martial arts skill right from the start also really helps when you have to fight off all of the beggars and low level enemies. Being able to finish off your opponent before you get injured is beneficial in those long dungeons/instances and saves costs on potions.
Tip #3: Focus on the “Fighting” Starting Points
Similar to the point above, being able to fight properly is a must for beginners. The “fighting” tree is the one on the left and gives you boosts to your basic starting stats, boosts your charisma, can give you an excellent starting companion, and may provide you with all positive traits. This simplifies the game for your first round so that you can afford to make a few more mistakes and still have the stats carry you to victory. Refer to your starting school’s martial arts and plan your stat boosts to coincide with the ones that improve the effectiveness of your skills. This makes a huge difference in damage early on and can help smooth the way while you learn the more intricate parts of the game.
Placing around 8 points in the fighting tree should be enough to get you started. The last two points should be placed in the life skills tree (the one on the right) so that you can get to the Production perk which makes creating your own weapons and armour easier. I haven’t personally found the middle row to be too useful since the right economical set up can occur very early on and the items offered can’t always be used effectively. Having better stats is a much, much better long term investment.
Tip #4: Use these Easy settings
This game is notoriously unforgiving if you make mistakes. The combat on the very easiest setting can already place you on a multiple hour grind session just to beat the very first boss, and having these settings greatly helps with your first playthrough. A shorter lifespan means your accumulated experiences are passed on quicker to the next generation – meaning that you can essentially layer on skills and abilities at a much faster rate. Lowest combat difficulty means you don’t get killed in the first few battles. Having a slow progression for enemies coming into your village means you have a supply of villagers that you can now recruit into your pool of workers once you defeat them.
The last option is the most important. Should you die before you have a chance to get married and have kids, the option indicated means that your progression of martial arts knowledge will progress to one of your friends or someone else in the universe – otherwise your game would just end. I’ve had a game where I focused entirely on martial arts and made it all the way to the second boss, but ended up dying and having to restart. You want to leave yourself some wiggle room for how you play, and this option gives you that freedom.
Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to Re-Roll
Even though the perk under the fighting skill tree guarantees you have all positive traits to start, it is possible to have absolutely useless ones that do not benefit you. It is also possible to have starting stats (like strength, determination, agility, etc.) be under 100 and seriously impair your early game abilities. Don’t be afraid to take a bit of time to re-roll a few times to get a feel for what you would like to see from your character in the early game.
It is also important to take a look at your martial arts and life skills tabs to see which areas your character is proficient in. There is no point having 100 in staff skills if you start in a school that doesn’t even have that skill as an option. You want to make sure your Inner Cultivation, Qinggong, and Specialty skill are all at around 80 minimum, and have your main fighting skill be around 85. This ensures that all of your skills and weapon attacks are at least minimally easy to use and deal enough damage to keep you alive.
If you plan to also make your own weapons (which I strongly recommend you do), you will also want to re-roll until you are at around an 80 in that specific category as well. In general, cloth and treasure weapons deal more internal damage, while wood and metal weapons deal more external damage. Having a baseline of 80 makes learning those skills much easier due to the difficulty of the “cultivation” stage being parallel to your current skill level.
With that said, it is perfectly manageable to just play with your first roll and still do reasonably well. If you happen to struggle, then don’t be afraid to restart your game and try out a new combination or just to re-roll again. Play this game according to your strengths and starting with better stats will enable you to enjoy this much more!
Tip #6: Each starting dialogue option determines your starting proficiency
In this picture here we see a few options that you may choose from. While this may seem innocent, these actually impact your initial stats for martial arts. The 1st option gives you 75% proficiency in the starting fist skill and 25% in your Qinggong, the second option gives you 25% in fist and 75% in Qinggong, the third option gives you 25% in both but also increases your life skills, and the last option is a 50-50 split. I usually go with the second option since I am almost never using the fist style martial arts and so a 75% Qinggong benefits me more.
Take the time to explore each individual option on the next screen since they essentially have the basic martial arts styles for each option. For anyone who grew up on Wuxia films, there will definitely be some familiar terminology for both the different schools of kung fu as well as the specific martial arts mentioned. Each offers a unique advantage over the other options and go beyond my current Chinese reading abilities. There are Steam guides that I definitely recommend you check out for specific information regarding which martial arts are better in which situations.
- Select an appropriate start to the battle. You can decide to stick with the default and begin the battle immediately, or you can select from various options such as closing the distance, extending the distance (if your defense is your highest attribute), increase your kung fu regeneration rate, or even prevent your opponent from escaping.
- Look at the distance your weapon range goes until and hit A or D until you are in range (manually dragging the bar also works too). I usually like to keep at least 0.5-1 from the border of the ranges just because your opponent can move out of the range easily – cancelling your attack.
- If you can’t move fast enough, use your Qinggong skill and it will help close the distance (or move you to a suitable distance).
- Activate your kung fu skill as soon as you have it ready – they deal MORE DAMAGE than your usual attack. This enables you to close the damage gap between you and a tough opponent as well as generating additional effects. Depending on your school/sect, some martial arts even deal poison damage, reduce opponent skill speed, stun your opponent, and reduce their damage.
- Specific weapons cause more internal or external damage – try to stay consistent with what you use and what damage your kung fu deals. All you need is for one of the two to reach 0 to win. Balancing between the two may actually increase the time it takes for you to deal enough damage to beat your opponent. Whacking your opponent for days won’t do much if you can’t get to that threshold!
To enter an instance, there may be some requirements you have to meet first. First, you have to have sufficient time remaining in the month (usually around 5-10). Second, there may be a food requirement – each food item has their own bonuses that may aid you in your journey, it is wise to hang on to the high rarity ones for the more challenging dungeons later on. However, one of the most useful ones is the one that increases Internal damage if you are playing an Internal kung fu style character. This inherently helps with your base damage and can be extremely useful even at later instances.
Prior to entering, it is a good idea to make sure your party is fully equipped and has more than enough potions in all of your inventories. If not, take a step back and transport it from the nearby city. You do NOT want to be caught right before a boss fight with not potions. It will set you back a ton and can be fixed by just being prepared prior to entering.
Your character (and later on you party) has a set of proficiencies that you can see on the character screen (red fist, blue wave, purple question mark, etc.). When you enter an instance, these proficiencies dictate where your character will go. For example, when you have two directions to move in with one being the red fist and the other the blue wave, if your character has a higher red fist value then your character will move towards that tile. If it is a tie, then your character will randomly move to either side. If you look forward and see that you absolutely want to go a certain path, you can click on the lower right corner of your screen and manually select which proficiency will win that round. Keep in mind, however, that if both options have the same proficiency it will still be randomized and you won’t be able to choose a direction.
Companions will generate a specific number of attack, defense, and utility points for you if they have the same colour attributes. By this I mean that if you have “red” attack/defense/utility, then you want your companions to have “red” attributes as well. If you do not, then your attributes will cancel each other out instead of add. This may actually be useful in some cases if you would like for your attack attribute to be the highest instead of defense – this makes a difference during battles since it changes which battle start you can select.
One of the most unique aspects of this game is that you get to capture crickets and use them to fight against NPCs throughout the game. When you win, you can obtain rare items, martial arts, or supplies – definitely something worth investing in especially since you raise your relationship with that NPC regardless of win or loss.
To capture crickets it is very simple – during Spring time you go through the instance and make it to the end first. When you are ready to capture a cricket, go for the largest ring that has the most dense circles. However, do not go for the one that gradually grows – those ones are terrible, low quality crickets that deceive you. Additionally, the cricket should make a loud noise if it is a solid cricket, so that is something you have to keep in mind. It is almost always worth waiting until the last quarter of time since more and more crickets tend to pop up later on. However, if you see a very promising circle then don’t hesitate to go for it – sometimes it can be two crickets in the same bush and as time goes on, they can damage each other.
When it comes to fighting using crickets, I just place them randomly across the three rows and the quality of crickets tend to be the biggest factor in whether you lose or win. I’ve found that strategy in placements don’t really get very far since you can’t always see all of your opponent’s crickets.